Kind act to restore vandalised bench

This Is Wiltshire: Ollie Simons, left, with Michael Way on the memorial bench to his wife Delia Ollie Simons, left, with Michael Way on the memorial bench to his wife Delia

Fencer Ollie Simons has stepped in to restore a memorial bench in Pewsey that was smashed by vandals last Friday evening.

Villagers were shocked when the bench put up in memory of cancer victim Delia Way was destroyed.

But Mr Simons, 24, of North Street, offered to use his expertise and give up his time on Sunday to repair the bench.

He said: “When I heard about the bench I was upset and wanted to do something to help. It took me about four hours to repair.”

He has been overwhelmed by the response from villages on the Pewsey Notice Board Facebook page.

He said: “I had no idea it would get this sort of response. I didn’t do it to be thanked but it is nice that people are happy.”

Widower and former farmer Michael Way bought the bench in 2002 to remember his wife, who died the previous year after a five-year battle with breast cancer.

He said: “I don’t do Facebook so I have not seen the messages but I am very grateful to this young man. It helps restore your faith in human nature.”

Others praised Mr Simons on Facebook, including Vaughan Roberts, who wrote: “ Well done Ollie. It’s good to see someone giving up their free time and skills to fix a problem. There’s a pint in for you at The Crown.”

Jan Britten wrote: “I love the way that the village comes together on occasions like these and restores faith in kindness and humanity.”

Caron Hunter said: I’m sure many of you will remember Delia Way and enjoy walking through Way’s Way. Please join me in condemning the idiots who have smashed up her memorial bench.”

Mr Simons, who has lived in the village all of his life and is a former pupil of Pewsey School, said he often saw groups of youngsters hanging about the streets.

He said: “You can’t print what I feel about whoever did this.”

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